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May 26, 2021

Barrasso: Biden Border Crisis is Not Going Away

“This crisis might be overshadowed by the other crises that are hitting us now in this administration, ones for which Joe Biden is responsible, yet the crisis at the southern border will not go away until we take action.”

Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s remarks.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) spoke on the Senate floor about how despite being overshadowed by several other crises, the Biden border crisis is getting worse.

Excerpts of Senator Barrasso’s remarks:

“I come to the floor today to talk about the ongoing crisis at our southern border.

“Over the past few weeks, the Biden border crisis has been overshadowed by several other crises facing our country under this administration. Inflation has surged.

“The price of gasoline across Wyoming is now over $3 a gallon. Democrats have been on another spending spree. It's a trillion-dollar spending spree.

“Hiring has plummeted across the country, terrorists have attacked our closest ally.

“The response from the Biden administration actually on that attack has been to treat both our closest ally, Israel, and the attackers, Hamas, as equals.

“I could go on and on. The most serious challenges facing our nation have escalated ever since President Biden has taken office.

“But you can't forget the border crisis that we have now under President Biden.

“Over the last several months, basically since President Biden took office on January 20 and he changed our border policies, the crisis has only gotten worse.

“President Biden flipped on a big green light and said come to America.

“That's the message that people heard all across the world. He sent a clear message that the border is open.

“On his first day of office, President Biden shut down construction of the southern border wall.

“He stopped all deportations for 100 days. He brought back a program basically known as catch and release.

“Those policy changes have led to a dramatic increase in illegal immigration.

“In March, our border agents caught 170,000 immigrants crossing our southern border illegally. In April, they caught even more, 178 illegal immigrants in just 30 days. The numbers have gone up and up.

“I heard a report yesterday that we're now at a half a million people since coming in illegally ever since President Biden has taken office. A half a million is the population of the entire state of Wyoming.

“Come into the country illegally since January 20. This year we are on a pace for illegal immigration to hit a 20-year high.
“Our border agents are overwhelmed. Two-thirds of the border patrol are too busy to be out there enforcing the law.

“They're too busy either taking care of kids, unaccompanied minors, or adults who have come across with the families and have done so illegally.

“Only about one in third are out there trying to stop the bad guys who are coming into this country, human traffickers, drug traffickers some even we know on the terrorist watch list.

“In fact, they are so overwhelmed that they're doing something now they've never done before.

“They are releasing illegal immigrants directly into the country without even giving them court dates. Instead, they're telling them to report to I.C.E. facilities sometime in the next couple of months.

“This is unprecedented. This is worse than catch and release. This is an absolute total surrender by the Biden administration on people coming into the country illegally.

“And this is in addition to the tens of thousands of immigrants who simply escape. Border Patrol calls them getaways. They got away. They got into the country without being stopped.

“We saw these folks doing this when a number of us went to the border a month or so ago. Chanting across the Rio Grande River, ‘you cannot stop us now.’

“The top Republican on the Homeland Security Committee, Senator Portman, revealed last week that there were 40,000 of these got-a-ways just last month.

“How many of them were drug smugglers? How many are human traffickers? How many are on the terrorist watch list? We will never know. Over the same month deportation hit a record low.

“The crisis might have disappeared from the headlines, but it hasn't gone away. And the people living near the border are being impacted dramatically. It's only getting worse.

“50,000 unaccompanied children across the border since Joe Biden became president. Unprecedented.

“At a time of a global pandemic, these children are not social distancing, let me tell you. That's what we saw when we saw them crammed in like sardines into the Donna facility at the southern tip of Texas.

“The media reports that the Department of Health and Human Services has left some kids on buses overnight.

“This is a humanitarian crisis. Nowhere for them to sleep, nowhere to bathe. One teenager named Joel said he was left on a bus for three days. That's how President Biden and his administration is handling the situation.

“I know Democrats love to lecture Republicans about humane immigration policy. This is not humane.

“The White House is now boasting that they're transferring the kids out of Border Patrol facilities. Nothing to brag about there. That is what the law mandates. They're just sending them from one overcrowded government facility to another overcrowded government facility.

“It seems like they're playing a shell game with these kids so they can play with the numbers. But the problem hasn't been solved. No, sir, it has not.

“Thousands and thousands of children keep showing up, and the crisis keeps getting worse. The Biden White House has told the world anyone under 18 can cross our border. We'll let them in - and they are coming in record numbers.

“So it's not a surprise that tens of thousands of families are taking President Biden up on the offer.

“Not just families. Criminals are taking advantage of these children. Criminals know the Border Patrol is overwhelmed. Criminals know if they use kids to distract our agents, they'll be able to make an end run, get away, get around and bring drugs into the country.

“Border Patrol has come to Congress and has told the Appropriations Committee in the House that they're seizing four times as much fentanyl this year as they seized last year.

“They're not sure how much they're missing, but we do know that this is a drug that killed more than 30,000 Americans in 2019.

“Border Patrol has already seized more fentanyl over the last seven months than they did over the previous year.

“They've seized enough fentanyl at the border, people trying to move it into the country illegally. The volume that has been seized at the border is enough to kill more than a million people.

“And that's just the drugs that we know about. Imagine the drugs we don't know about.

“How are Democrats going to deal with this border crisis?

“Many, are ignoring it. Neither the president nor the vice president have been to the border since taking office four months ago.

“Many Democrats are trying to distract people from the issue. Say why are the president and vice president not going? They know if they will, TV cameras will go with them and it will attract more attention to the crisis, the humanitarian crisis, the national security crisis that they have created.

“Now, some Democrats are actually proposing that we make the crisis worse.

“Last week, the Senate had an opportunity to finish the border wall.

“Remember, the border wall has already been paid for. Only one Democrat voted to complete the wall. Every other Democrat voted to block it. They voted against finishing the wall even though we have already paid for it. I've been there, I've seen areas of the wall.

“The materials are there laying on the ground, just needing to be lifted up and connected to other portions of the wall. And that construction stopped the day President Biden took the oath of office.

“The Border Patrol officers say it would make a huge difference in their lives, in their jobs, in protecting our nation if they could just put up in place that final spot of the wall.

“Some Democrats are actually encouraging even more illegal immigration. Democrats in Washington just sent $26 billion in taxpayer money to the governor of California.

“Now what does he want to do with the $26 billion that was sent to the governor of California? He wants to give some of that money to illegal immigrants.

“Eight Senate Democrats have introduced a bill to give free health care to children who are here illegally. They introduced the bill this month knowing full well about the child migration crisis at our border. This bill would only make the crisis worse.

“The Democrat promises of government benefits are a magnet to illegal immigrants.

“Democrats talk a lot about compassion. This is not compassion. The compassionate thing to do is to stop the crisis.

“We know how to do that. We know what works. Democrats don't like to admit it, but President Trump was historically successful in controlling our border.

“Democrats say that the system was dismantled. This is the exact opposite of the truth.

“Democrats are dismantling it today. Democrats need to stop giving our taxpayer dollars to illegal immigrants.

“Democrats need to turn off this magnet that is drawing 50,000 children to risk their lives and take a very dangerous journey, many paying those to traffic them to bring them up to the border and carry them across.

“We need to go back to the policies that make our border secure, enforce the law, close the loopholes that encourage illegal immigration, finish the wall that we paid for, bring back the Remain in Mexico policy.

“This crisis might be overshadowed by the other crises that are hitting us now in this administration, ones for which Joe Biden is responsible, yet the crisis at the southern border will not go away until we take action.”